The Calgary Flames expected a fight from a desperate team and got one.
Once they shook off a slow start, the Flames fought back and Dougie Hamilton scored a crafty overtime goal to extend their winning streak to five games.
Hamilton scored 1:09 into overtime, Chad Johnson stopped 27 shots and the Calgary Flames beat the Arizona Coyotes 2-1 on Thursday night.
“We had to stick with it,” Flames coach Glen Gulutzan said.
“Our start wasn’t good — our first 12 minutes wasn’t very good — but we found a way.”
The Coyotes were the aggressors early, seemingly taking out a season full of frustration in a chippy game filled with big hits and multiple fights.
The Flames appeared stunned early and fell behind on a power-play goal midway through the first period before standing their ground.
Mark Giordano scored late in the first period, Johnson was stellar the rest of the way and Hamilton capped it by using a forehand deke to set up his backhand winner.
Calgary has won eight of 11 (8-2-1).
“We need to win these types of games every once in a while,” Johnny Gaudreau said.
“We did a great job of figuring out the play after the first 10 minutes, played well in overtime and got the two points.”
Max Domi scored and was involved in one of three fights before leaving with an upper-body injury and Mike Smith stopped 33 shots for the Coyotes.
Arizona captain Shane Doan became Arizona’s all-time assist leader and is the fifth player in NHL history to own his team’s records for games played, goals, assists, points, game-winning goals and power-play goals.
But for all the fight, the Coyotes still ended up with yet another loss, their sixth straight and 11th in 14 games (3-7-4).
“There were a lot of emotions out there and everybody was trying hard,” Coyotes defenceman Oliver Ekman-Larsson said. “We need to keep getting better and keep finding ways to get better.”
Calgary has been headed in the opposite direction as the struggling Coyotes, winning seven of its previous 10 games to bounce back from a slow start to the season.
Yet as they headed to Arizona, the Flames were concerned about the Coyotes.
Arizona has struggled with puck possession and tended to put a heavy burden on its goalies — 35.1 shots against per game — but Calgary knew better than to overlook a desperate team on the road.
The Coyotes came out hard at the Flames, leading a physical first period that included two fights.
Domi put the Coyotes up midway through the first on a scramble that left Johnson flailing outside the crease. Johnson was unable to secure the puck and it squirted out front to Domi, who one-timed past two Flames for his fifth of the season.
But after gathering themselves, the Flames scored on a power play late in the period. Giordano got it, one-timing a pass from Gaudreau in the right circle by squeezing it past Smith’s pad and the post for his second goal in three games.
“That’s one I should have,” Smith said. “I was there and thought I had it. I’m not sure how it went in.”
Another fight punctuated a scoreless second period, when Domi and Garnet Hathaway squared off. Domi left the ice with blood dripping from his eye and did not return after playing one shift in the third period.
Doan had an assist on Domi’s goal to break Thomas Steen’s franchise record of 553 assists. … Calgary RW Kris Versteeg did not play after injuring his hip against Dallas on Tuesday. … Arizona’s Ryan White was called for instigating and was issued a 10-minute misconduct in the first period after Lance Bouma ran Coyotes Ekman-Larsson into the boards.
Flames: Host Winnipeg on Saturday to start a three-game homestand.
Coyotes: Host Nashville on Saturday before leaving on a four-game road trip next week.